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ST. PAUL – On Tuesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the omnibus legacy funding bill, HF707, on a bipartisan 131-0 vote. Legacy funding comes from proceeds of a constitutionally dedicated sales tax passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 for clean water, arts, and cultural heritage projects. In total, the bill invests $527 million in clean water, the arts, and maintaining cultural heritage throughout the state. Over $100 million of the bill goes directly to restore and protect Minnesota’s water. More than $30 million will go toward protecting drinking water, while another $22 million will provide buffer aid to counties.
“I’m happy to see bipartisan support for our bill that prioritizes clean water, parks and trails, and Minnesota’s unique cultural heritage,” said bill author Representative Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont. “The most important aspect of this bill invests in our state’s drinking water, and helps counties mitigate buffer implementation.”
Along with the funding, the legislation includes reforms to legacy funding. First, the bill creates a 5% reserve within each fund, protecting the health and integrity of the funds if the forecast changes. Furthermore, HF707 directs the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to focus on enhancements of current land instead of the purchasing of new land.
“The reforms are an important piece of this bill to make sure there’s more accountability in how legacy funds are spent,” added Gunther.
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